Kevin Hart is making room for other talented comedians to succeed in Hollywood. Laugh Out Loud, the company founded by the Fatherhood star has partnered with the Sundance Institute to launch a screenwriting fellowship to support emerging Black women comedy writers in developing a short comedic script. LOL Studios! will develop and produce the selected scripts and debut the projects during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival as well as be distribute the films across Laugh Out Loud’s global network.
“Black women have contributed to some of the industry’s most successful and innovative film and television content. Yet, opportunities for this group are still few and far between; especially in comedy. With Women Write Now, we’re not just shining a light on a problem, but also illuminating a path to long-term solutions,” says Laugh Out Loud President & COO, Thai Randolph in a provided statement. “This project is another in our mission to cultivate, empower, and amplify diverse talent both in front of and behind the camera. We’re honored to partner with Sundance Institute to elevate the voices of talented Black women because we know that when you invest in women of color, it pays off in dividends.”
The selected fellows will receive one-on-one mentorship and professional guidance from leading Black women in comedy. Actresses and behind-the-camera talents Meagan Good, Bresha Webb, and Gabrielle Dennis have been brought on as directors for the short films. Black-ish writer and TV veteran, Yamara Taylor, has signed on as Lead Screenwriting Mentor for the Lab, with additional advisors to be announced in the near future.
“Our collaboration with LOL speaks to the core values of the Sundance Institute mission,” says Michelle Satter, the Founding Senior Director of the Institute’s Artist Programs. “Seeking the boldest and most promising independent voices and inviting them to hone their skills with established writers and industry figures, ensures a rich and thriving group of rising creatives. We are especially excited to support and amplify Black female comedy writers through this partnership”.
To submit, interested writers must meet qualifications that include being a Black woman, but also being 18 years or older at the time of application and an emerging non-union writer. Applicants must include one screenplay for an original comedic short film. Ten finalists will be invited to interview with a jury panel consisting of award-winning filmmakers and narrowed down to a maximum of six fellows.
For more information on the program visit womenwritenow.com.